|"The Mom & Pop Store"|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Tom Gammill & Max Pross|
|Original air date||November 17, 1994|
"The Mom & Pop Store" is the 94th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the eighth episode for the sixth season. It aired on November 17, 1994. In this episode, George buys a car said to have belonged to Jon Voight (who cameos in the episode as himself). Meanwhile, Kramer takes all of Jerry's sneakers to a "Mom and Pop" shoe repair store, leaving him with nothing but cowboy boots to wear on his feet while he tries to figure out whether or not he is invited to Tim Whatley's "Thanksgiving Eve" party.
Kramer convinces Jerry to send his sneakers to a "mom and pop" shoe repair store, arguing that it's important to keep "mom and pop" stores from going out of business. Kramer takes all of his sneakers, leaving him only a pair of cowboy boots he was given by a club in Dallas that couldn't afford to pay him. While at the store, Kramer's nose starts to bleed. When he lies down to stop it, he notices wires hanging out of the ceiling and advises Mom and Pop to call an electrician. Mom and Pop can't afford to bring the electrical installation up to the building code, so they close the store and disappear with all of Jerry's sneakers.
George is set to buy a 1989 Volvo sedan, but the car salesman talks him into buying a 1989 LeBaron convertible he says was owned by Jon Voight. While riding in the car, Jerry goes through the glove compartment and discovers a chewed pencil and the owner's booklet. The previous owner was actually John Voight, not Jon Voight. Jerry makes fun of George and gets kicked out of the car. He then runs from some muggers but slips because of the boots, hurting his teeth. Because no dentist is seeing patients before Thanksgiving, Jerry decides to crash the party where many dentists will be present.
While walking down the street, Kramer sees Jon Voight. When Kramer tries to ask Voight about George's car, he grabs Kramer's arm and bites him. Elaine is listening to the radio while working at Mr. Pitt's office. Mr. Pitt asks Elaine to guess the title of an old song for him so that he can win a ticket to hold the Woody Woodpecker balloon in the Thanksgiving Parade. Elaine identifies the song "Next Stop Pottersville" and wins the ticket, but must sit through a loud performance by a live Dixieland band before receiving it. At the party, Elaine still can't hear a thing because of the loud music, and inadvertently turns down a date from Whatley because she thought he was just offering her nuts. George and Kramer seek a dentist to match the bite marks on Kramer's arm with those on the chewed pencil. When he hears of George's situation, Whatley realizes he purchased the former car of Dr. John Voight, a periodontist friend of his. While showing his teeth to a dentist, Jerry accidentally pushes a small statue of the Empire State Building out the window and pierces the Woody Woodpecker balloon with Mr. Pitt under it.
Jerry receives a call from a man who bought a pair of his sneakers from a garage sale in Parsippany, New Jersey. Jerry and Kramer head there to confront Mom and Pop, taking the bus since Jerry's car is in the shop. On the bus ride, Kramer's nose starts bleeding again, in a scene parodying Midnight Cowboy.
As with many Seinfeld episodes, "The Mom & Pop Store" was inspired by events in the lives of the writers. Writer Tom Gammill bragged to Jerry Seinfeld that he had purchased a car which was previously owned by Jon Voight; his writing partner Max Pross broke in that he was skeptical that the car had really belonged to Voight. Seinfeld suggested the two of them turn their argument into an episode. According to Gammill and Pross, much of the conversations between George and Jerry were "almost verbatim" recreations of their real debate over the car, including Jerry (Pross in real life) noticing that the owner's manual said "John Voight", though the pencil with teeth marks is fictional.
Jon Voight was on the set for just a few minutes to film his scene. During this time, Gammill asked Voight to look at the car, and Voight said he had never owned it. The same car, including the keys, was used as George's car in both this episode and Season 7's "The Gum." Pross's car has a cameo as the car George originally planned to buy.
The big band songs heard on the radio in the episode, "Honeysuckle Jump" and "Next Stop, Pottersville", are not really from the big band era; they were composed by Jonathan Wolff specifically for this episode.
The character Tim Whatley was introduced for this episode. Gammill and Pross based him on a college acquaintance who would specifically not invite certain people in the same circle of friends to his parties.
The sequence with the Woody Woodpecker balloon was inspired by footage of a Woody Woodpecker balloon explosively collapsing during a parade. The production team were unable to obtain the rights to this footage, so they had to recreate it using just a brief shot of Mr. Pitt trying to hold up the balloon.